20 July 2014

Trojan Horse plot teachers keep jobs

Senior teachers heavily implicated in the so-called Trojan Horse plot to Islamise Birmingham state schools will keep their jobs, despite damning criticism from four official inquiries.

Only hours after Michael Gove was removed as Education Secretary last week, Department for Education officials made a “five-point agreement” with the management of the academy schools at the centre of the plot – Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen — according to the trust that runs all three.

In a copy of the agreement sent to parents, one of the points states “the senior leaders of the academies are recognised as having strong track records in raising achievement and will have a big contribution to the future leadership of the academies”. [The Telegraph] Read more

Isis mob stones woman to death

WOMAN accused of adultery was stoned to death last week in the first public execution of its kind conducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (Isis).

The sentence was imposed by an Islamic court on the woman, who was not named, but said by locals to be in her thirties. It was carried out on Thursday by a frenzied mob of men and women in a town square in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa, which is under jihadist control.

There have been reports of the strict discipline imposed by Isis, but this is believed to be the first photographic evidence of a stoning. [The Sunday Times (£)] Read more

Year Four: The Arab Spring Proved Everyone Wrong

Shortly after the Arab Spring broke out at the tail end of 2010, two narratives took hold in the West. Optimists hailed a region-wide birth of democracy, as though the Middle East and North Africa were following the path blazed in Eastern Europe during the anti-communist revolutions of 1989. Pessimists fretted that the Arab world was following Iran’s example in 1979 and replacing secular tyrants with even more repressive Islamist regimes.

Both narratives turned out to be wrong, and not just because their adherents had the wrong narrative. Any narrative superimposed over this series of events was doomed to be wrong. [World Affairs] Read more

19 July 2014

There’s already a culture war about faith schools. Expect one to grow about Muslim schools in particular

Muslims will make up roughly eight per cent of Britain’s population by 2030. However, the distribution of the Islamic population will not, of course, be spread evenly across the country: the concentration will be greater in urban areas, then as now. Bradford and Birmingham contain more Muslims than other large British cities, and their numbers help to indicate developments to come – 32 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

In summary, Islam is already Britain’s second-largest religion. This position will grow more entrenched. It will surely be the most practiced religion in some of our major cities within 15 years…and there are at present only 12 Muslim faith schools in Britain.

[A COMMENT] No faith schools. Full stop.

[ANOTHER] I'm not a Christian but this country's heritage is Christian and it seems perfectly right to me that there should continue to be Christian schools for those that want them.

Muslim schools are a different matter, since no-one I know was ever consulted about the imposition of a huge Muslim population whose values are very often un-English even where these are not positively antithetical to our own.

Would-be Muslim conquerors were beaten out of Europe many centuries ago, yet our leaders are letting them in again. It's wicked and insane.

[ANOTHER] Firstly, the schools in question are not faith schools; they are secular state schools that have been infiltrated by Muslim extremists.

Schools run by the C of E, the Catholics and most of the Jewish establishments have no difficulty in combining a proper education with a religious ethos. There is only one religion that is posing this problem

We must stop, in this country, punishing the many for the transgressions of the few. The root cause of this problem was cowardice on the part of Birmingham City Council. [ConservativeHome] Read more

90 percent of slain Muslims killed by 'brothers': Turkey's religious head

One thousand Muslims are being killed each day and 90 percent of the killers are also Muslims, the head of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has said.

"They are being killed by their brothers, not only in Syria and Iraq, but also in Libya, Pakistan, Africa and Myanmar," Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez said in his address to the participants of the World Islamic Scholars, Peace, Moderation and Commonsense Initiative conference in Istanbul on July 19.

Görmez cited "some studies," without elaborating on details.

The Islamic world needs to make a joint effort to revive the quintessential values of Islamic civilization, he added.

"Suffering, violence and conflicts in various parts of the Islamic world, including its storied cities like Baghdad and Damascus, wound every Muslim's heart profoundly," Görmez said. [Hürriyet Daily News] Read more

The latest on Birmingham schools

Two separate enquiries into the ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations have started reporting their findings.

.... It is frustrating that perspectives from Muslims such as the MWN’s Shaista Gohir and Quilliam’s Usama Hasan were for so long brushed aside by the Guardian, creating a false impression that this is an issue all Muslims could agree upon, and that the only authentic Muslim response – and the only principled anti-racist response – was to go on the defensive. [Harry’s Place] Read more

The imminent extermination of Mosul's Christians

Canon Andrew White has posted an urgent request for prayer: the Christians of Mosul, where they have lived for 1,700 years, are about to succumb to the ISIS interpretation of Sharia - you know, convert to Islam or pay the jizya or prepare to die. As the savvy Digital Nun observes, Christians have been in Mosul since before Mohammed was in nappies. She writes: [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

18 July 2014

Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians

Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq's dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.

The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month's lightning assault to capture swathes of north Iraq, and seen by Reuters, said the ruling would come into effect on Saturday. [Reuters] Read more

City in Tarragona passes bylaw banning burqas and niqabs in public places

The Reus city council, in the Catalan province of Tarragona, on Friday approved new bylaws that will ban people from wearing a burqa, niqab or any other kind of full face veil in public places. The measure is the first to go so far in Spain, given that other such local legislation had only banned such clothing on municipal-owned premises.

The measure was passed thanks to votes from the coalition government in the city council, made up of the conservative Popular Party (PP) and the Catalan nationalist bloc CiU. The opposition parties – including the Catalan Socialists, PSC – all voted against the measure. [EL PAÍS] Read more

Trojan Horse report: Birmingham schools broke law with Islamic assemblies and banned sex education

Hardline governors in some Birmingham schools were guilty of “serious malpractice” and headteachers were undermined in order to introduce Islamic worship and ban sex education, a damning report into the “Trojan Horse” allegations found today.

Schools introduced Islamic assemblies without permission and used the Muslim call to prayer which had “led to the coercion of young people” to participate in worship during the school day, the report commissioned by Birmingham City Council found.

.... He said: “The report has highlighted areas where we have either taken no action, were too slow to take action, or have simply done the wrong thing. The report further states this has often been because of the risk of being seen as racist or Islamophobic. Our proper commitment to cohesion in communities sometimes overrode the need to tackle difficult questions about what was happening in a small number of schools.”

[A COMMENT] Islamic values are incompatible with European ones.

[ANOTHER] Once again we see fear of being accused of being "islamophobic" as the reason for not dealing with this threat. A phobia implies an irrational or unfounded fear but when it comes to Islam it is a rational response to an existential and demonstrable threat - so no "phobia".

[ANOTHER] What did people think would happen if we did not put checks and measures in place when witnessing Muslim majority schools?

The PC Brigade has been shameless in giving succour to beliefs that fly in the very face of a liberal society. Trying to spin at every turn the consequences all around us and persistently playing down the countless victims in many parts of the world. [The Independent] Read more

Birmingham council a 'disastrous failure' over Islamism in schools

Birmingham council "disastrously" failed to act when a group of Muslim men began to promote, sometimes illegally, a fundamentalist version of Islam in some schools, because officials were afraid of being accused of racism or Islamophobia, a report has found.

The investigation, carried out by the independent adviser Ian Kershaw, was commissioned by Birmingham City council (BCC) as a result of concerns raised in a letter dated 27 November 2013, known as the "Trojan horse" letter, which suggested a number of schools in the city had been "taken over" to ensure they were run on strict Islamic principles.

.... Particularly damning is Kershaw's finding that "a significant number of those governors acting unreasonably have been local authority governors", that is, appointed by the council.

[A COMMENT] How many of these 'officials' will be disciplined or sacked for failing to intervene to stop the illegal promotion of a fundamentalist version of Islam. Probably none. Not doing your job is often no cause for action in the public sector. It'll probably be another 'systemic failure' with nobody to blame and no jobs or pensions affected.

[ANOTHER] Another inquiry putting the Guardian's previous reporting into an unhappy perspective. End of term report: Must do better in future.

[ANOTHER] The Guardian's reporting as veered from (a) there is no problem, to (b) it is only a small problem, to (c) it must all be the fault of someone other than those who did the infiltrating - in fact it must be the fault of the person who ordered the inquiry!

[ANOTHER] This politically correct nonsense began twenty something years ago when the fatwah was placed on Salmand Rushdie.

We should have realised then that there was a sizeable minority of Muslims in this Country that wanted to promote their vision of an Islamic state in our Country. The salami slicing attempts at Islamization has to be resisted by all right thinking people otherwise it will only get worse. [The Guardian] Read more

Christians lie and wives must have sex or go to hell, Trojan Horse pupils told

Children were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law in classrooms as part of an alleged 'Trojan Horse' takeover plot of Birmingham schools, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools as school governors and teachers tried to promote and enforce radical Islamic values.

Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn't pray they would "go to hell", Christmas was cancelled and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be "punished" by angels "from dusk to dawn".

[A COMMENT] Dear DT You might as well shut the comments down, so many are being removed for pointing at the elephant in the room. This article exposes the scandal of what's been allowed to go on in some Birmingham schools because of a spineless appeasement of extremist attitudes, and here you are doing exactly the same. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

[ANOTHER] I have just been hearing how ISIS treat Christians in Mosul, threatening them with death if they do not either convert or pay a special tax. This will not make many waves, but imagine the outcry if we did this in reverse to our own highly valued islamic "communities".

[ANOTHER] Enoch Powell..........you were correct

[ANOTHER] "Surely teachers openly speaking such racist comments to children, should be prosecuted?" They will probably get a pay rise after all this is over that's the way the UK works today and that is why it is facing an existential threat like never before. [The Telegraph] Read more

New Islamic Caliphate declares Jihad on … Muslims

The new “caliphate” of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—the Islamic State, formerly “ISIS”—recently made clear that it means to follow in the footsteps of the original caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Sadiq (632-634), specifically by directing its jihad against fellow Muslims, in Islamic parlance, the “hypocrites” and “apostates,” or in Western terminology, “moderates.”

This came out in the context of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, with some Muslims asking the newly formed “caliphate” when it would launch a jihad on the Jewish state.

The Islamic State’s response? “Allah in the noble Koran does not command us to fight Israel or the Jews until we fight the apostates and hypocrites.” [The Commentator] Read more

The Trojan horse plot shows we must clarify religion’s place in state schools

In my youth I was a member of a UK organisation that called itself “The Movement to Reform the Muslim Youth”. Back then, we regrettably had an extremist mindset that was characterised by dreams of global domination for Islam. These would involve the re-establishment of a caliphate and the enforcing of a narrow, sectarian, xenophobic and puritanical theology.

.... None of the revelations that have come to light in recent weeks as a result of investigations into the plot surprise me. These include the findings in Peter Clarke’s draft report, leaked to the Guardian, which found strong evidence of an Islamist agenda ruining a small number of schools in Birmingham. The methods are familiar to me, as is the mindset that inspires them.

[A COMMENT] I have come to the conclusion that there should be no religious instruction in our schools. If parents choose to indoctrinate their offspring in ancient wizardry why should I as a taxpayer foot the bill?

[ANOTHER] Religion has no place in schools, other than as something to be taught about in its historical and cultural context, or as part of comparative mythology. There is no place for compulsory worship in schools, nor for any form of religious indoctrination. The 1944 Education Act was utterly wrong-headed to enforce religious observance in non-faith schools, and faith schools should be abolished.

[ANOTHER] "State schools should be totally free of all religion." I now agree with this, though previously I didn't, but despite being a Muslim, the potential it has to cause problems is obvious.

.... It is up to parents to take responsibility for whatever religious education and experiences they want their children to have. If they aren't prepared to undertake that, they should have no choice but to accept that state schools in this country are not going to adopt that role. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim groups slam new call for UK burka ban

.... The practice of Muslims covering their face is a “fad,” he added. “How come their mothers or grandmothers never wore it? Were they bad Muslims? No, of course not,” he said.

Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, said he disagreed with a ban on the burka, saying women should be allowed to “wear whatever they want.” [Al Arabiya News] Read more

Trojan Horse Leaked Report Finds 'Aggressive Islamist Ethos' In Birmingham Schools

Key individuals were "promoting and encouraging certain Islamic principles" in Birmingham classrooms amid poor oversight from education chiefs, a city council investigation into the alleged "Trojan Horse" takeover plot has found.

The findings of the Birmingham City Council inquiry carried out by Ian Kershaw and published today, concluded that governors, deputy and acting headteachers, trustees and parents were involved in a pattern of behaviour "moving between schools in the area".

In a 151-page report, Mr Kershaw concluded: "The evidence shows individuals have been seeking to promote and encourage Islamic principles in the schools with which they are involved, by seeking to introduce Islamic collective worship, or raising objections to elements of the school curriculum that are viewed as anti-Islamic."

[A COMMENT] So is the Hu ff going to stop calling the warning letter a "hoax" then?

[ANOTHER] The time is fast approaching to revoke the British Citizenship of some people involved in this despicable act to take over state schools and curriculums. The time has come to look into the rights of those who claim to be British and how they arrived in the UK. The time has come for expulsions. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Trojan Horse report finds 'aggressive Islamist ethos' in schools

A leaked report into the so-called "Trojan Horse" plot has found evidence there was an agenda to introduce "an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos" into some Birmingham schools.

The report, revealed in The Guardian, was ordered by the government after claims some Muslim groups were trying to take control in some schools.

.... Mr Kershaw also says Birmingham City Council was "slow to respond" to allegations in the letter and accused education chiefs in the city of "poor oversight".

Peter Clarke Peter Clarke is a former deputy commissioner of the Met

He identifies a "culture within [the council] of not wanting to address difficult issues and problems with school governance" for risk of bringing accusations of racism or Islamophobia.

Speaking at a press conference earlier, Council leader Sir Albert Bore admitted the council failed to act for fear of being seen as racist or Islamophobic. [BBC] Read more

Leaked report reveals 'aggressive Islamist agenda' in Birmingham schools

A damning report into extremist infiltration of Birmingham schools has uncovered evidence of "coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city".

The conclusion emerges from a leaked draft of a report, commissioned by the former education secretary Michael Gove and written by Peter Clarke, the former head of the Metropolitan police's counterterrorism command, which is due to be published in the next 24 hours.

.... He added: "Time and again people who have either been teachers or governors at Park View appear to be involved in behaviour at other schools that have destabilised headteachers, sometimes leading to their resignation or removal.

The tactics that have been used are too similar, the individuals concerned are too closely linked and the behaviour of a few parents and governors too orchestrated for there not to be a degree of coordination behind what has happened." [The Guardian] Read more

17 July 2014

Trojan horse inquiry: 'A coordinated agenda to impose hardline Sunni Islam'

An investigation ordered by the government has found a "sustained, coordinated agenda to impose segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline, politicised strain of Sunni Islam" on children in a number of Birmingham schools.

A draft of the report, marked as sensitive, states: "Left unchecked, it would confine schoolchildren within an intolerant, inward-looking monoculture that would severely inhibit their participation in the life of modern Britain."

The inquiry, conducted by the former counterterrorism chief Peter Clarke, was ordered by the former education secretary Michael Gove and began in April. Clarke gathered 2,000 documents and generated 2,000 pages of interview transcripts from 50 witnesses, including former headteachers, teachers, council staff and school governors.

He did not interview parents or pupils. "The level of distress and anxiety felt by the witnesses cannot be overstated," he says. [The Guardian] Read more

Sudanese family drops lawsuit against Christian woman claimed as Muslim

A lawsuit brought by a Sudanese Muslim father against a Christian woman to formally establish her as his Muslim daughter was dropped on Wednesday, the lawyer handling the case said, a move that could allow her to depart for the United States.

The case of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, raised an international furore when a Sudanese court sentenced her to death in May on charges of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian South Sudanese-American. [Reuters] Read more

Why I, as a Muslim, am launching a campaign to ban the burka in Britain

The increasing fashion for young Muslim women in Britain to wear the burka (in contrast to their mothers, who do not) is one of most sinister developments of our times.

Supporters of this garment like to pretend that it is a welcome symbol of our society’s multicultural diversity and philosophical tolerance. But such warped thinking is woefully misguided. In reality, the burka is an archaic tribal piece of cloth that is eagerly used by fundamentalist zealots to promote a toxic brand of extremist non-Koranic theology.

Everyone in Britain, including Muslims, should oppose the insidious spread of this vile piece of clothing, which imprisons women, threatens social harmony, fuels distrust, has grave health implications and is a potent security risk.

[A COMMENT] As a Muslim women I have many friends whom cover their faces with the niqab. None of them are forced and love to wear it. However I feel that it has caused such mistrust and even fear in the UK that I wish it was banned too. Yes we should be allowed to cover our bodies and hair if we do chose but face? No.

[ANOTHER] I am a muslim and support this view as well. Its nothing to do with Islam or being a muslim and should be banned [Daily Mail] Read more

Why banning Sharia courts would harm British Muslim women

The calls to ban Sharia councils in Britain, as a way of ending discrimination suffered by Muslim women at the hands of these religious tribunals, is short-sighted and not the best way forward finds Myriam Francois-Cerrah

.... The fact that individuals in Sharia councils are able to dispense dangerous advice is deeply worrying. But a grassroots movement to reform and regulate Sharia councils is burgeoning. Rigorous vetting and training need to become standard, better regulation is undoubtedly necessary to help those being let down by the ad hoc nature of sharia councils. But a politicised and overly rash ban would only disadvantage women - those who seem most reliant on the services.

[A COMMENT] Taqiyya. This is England. Our legal system is the English Common law. Anybody who wants sharia law now has an Islamic state - shut the door on your way there.

[ANOTHER] This is BRITAIN and in BRITAIN we have BRITISH courts and a BRITISH justice system. If you want a justice system aligned to particular mulsim religious preferences then move to a muslim country with muslim courts. It really is that simple.

[ANOTHER] Women in this country have been well enough protected without sharia law in the past. Why do Muslim women need special protection. If Muslim women don't like English law I suggest you all try moving to somewhere that practices Sharia. You won't be missed.

[ANOTHER] HEY MIRIAM !! Ever spoke to a Coptic Christian in Egypt trying to practice THEIR faith and maintain their churches, customs and belief systems???? If you can find one still alive or not too terrified to talk to you?

The bloody hypocrisy of you Muslims!. When those of other faiths go to YOUR native country they MUST observe Ramadan, cover themselves up and conform.

Any failure to do so or any attempt to set up Christian or Jewish communities in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar or Yemen is met with 50 lashes decreed by Imams, instant death, prosecution or persecution and even if not local people will stone you, spit at you and shun you with total condonment from the authorities. [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslim worker refuses to sell ham and wine to customer in Tesco in Neasden

.... “I’m disgusted. If he is refusing to do his job he shouldn’t be there.” Mrs Cottle said after calling customer services when she got home she was told the worker could face disciplinary action.

She added: “I hope he does. If he can’t serve food he shouldn’t be working in a supermarket.”

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We’re here to serve our customers the products they choose to buy. We don’t have a specific policy and take a pragmatic approach if a colleague raises concerns about a job they have been asked to do.

“We apologise to our customer for any inconvenience on this occasion.”

[A COMMENT] Perhaps all Christian employees of Tesco should refuse to serve the halal meat they sell.

[ANOTHER] I asked a hijab wearing checkout girl in Waitrose what she thought about selling alcohol and pork and she said she'd asked her imam who said that since she wasn't actually consuming them, it didn't matter. Not all Muslims are nutters. This bloke should be sacked, though. [Brent & Kilburn Times] Read more

16 July 2014

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups - Jews, Catholics & Evangelicals Rated Warmly, Atheists and Muslims More Coldly

.... The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.

These are some of the key findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted May 30-June 30, 2014, among 3,217 adults who are part of Pew Research’s new American Trends Panel, a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults. [Pew Research Center] Read more

France suspends plans for Halal prison meals

France's highest administrative body has suspended a plan to provide Halal meals for Muslim inmates in one prison in the country's east.

The council of state ruled on Wednesday that providing Halal meat at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier prison in the city of Grenoble was impractical "owing to its financial cost and high needs for organisation".

France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubiral, who had been contesting the plan since 2013, argued it would infringe on France's rules on secularism that ban religious expression in public places.

France's highest appeals court will make the final decision in the case. [Al Jazeera] Read more